Hornish Qualifies Eighth To Lead Penske Charge at Fontana

February 19, 2010

FONTANA, Cal. (February 19, 2010) – Sam Hornish, driver of the No. 77 Auto Club Dodge Charger, led the Penske Racing trio of Cup Series drivers with an eighth-place qualifying effort for the Auto Club 500 on Thursday afternoon. Drivers Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski finished in 12th and 21st place, respectively.

Hornish, sporting the Auto Club of Southern California paint scheme this weekend, was the 26th qualifier to make an attempt at the two-mile oval. He posted a fast-lap time of 39.385 seconds at a speed of 182.811 miles per hour.

“Our Auto Club Dodge was pretty good,” said Hornish. “I was real happy with the car. I definitely felt that we had a top-10 car when I mashed the throttle to make our qualifying lap. A top 10 here in qualifying is a nice step in the right direction for our team. We dug ourselves a little bit of a hole in Daytona with our finish, but I have a lot of confidence in this team and they brought out a fast race car to California.

“The next few races don’t make your season, but they’re a decent litmus test to understand where your season is going. I think that our intermediate track program is solid. All three of our Penske Dodges are fast here in California and I’m excited to start up front, get a good pit stall and go race these guys.”

The Auto Club 500 will air live on Sunday, February 21 on the FOX television network beginning at 3 p.m. ET. Race coverage will also be broadcast live on MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.